Text: Pablo San Nicasio
Within the series “Pellizcos Flamencos”, full of interesting programs, the dawn of June 11th brought the masterful Pepe Habichuela to sunny Casa Patas.
To talk about Pepe is to take a lot for granted. First of all, his ability to fill any theater, tablao or any other kind of venue with hardcore flamenco artists. Secondly, knowing it’s going to be the real flamenco thing, no matter what. And thirdly, knowing there will be guest artists, interesting bits and lots and lots of goings-on in the wings.
And so it was. With Casa Patas filled to the rafters with friends of the family and many happy flamenco fans (we had just come from seeing Poveda), the maestro laid out a sober recital in which many family members participated. The luxury of being a Carmona.
After the formal presentation, and the introduction of “Paquete”, Pepe appeared from behind the curtains to offer his granaína.
The man from Granada was in great form, with a left hand that wouldn’t quit, and a right hand that commands the strings like few others. Guitarists like this are always welcome. The perfect counterpoint to contemporary guitar where virtuosity, so often insipid, seems to be the order of the day.
This was a great aperitif that paved the way for the delicatessen which came as a delicate voice. Tamara Escudero, the beautiful singer from Castellón, formed and promoted by the Carmona family, along with Pepe, interpreted a stylized caña, and then granaína which was especially moving at moments due to the fine register of the young performer’s voice.
Then with Josemi and the rest of the band and all the percussion (lots of chemistry), the concert put the most traditional repertoire to one side to follow paths of flamenco swing blazed by the newest offspring of the dynasty. Everything natural and improvised. The pieces flowed and the pop essence alternated with an unmistakable flamenco backdrop. Genes are genes.
Pepe came back on alone to wrap up the evening with his masterful alegrías in A, the tone of Paco de Lucía’s legendary “Barrosa”.
The maestro was wonderful playing siguiriyas along with his son as a farewell, in addition to fandangos and his unforgettable “Yerbagüena” with the whole family.
The night had only just begun and it was already two-thirty. It makes you begin to understand how these flamencos spend hours and hours without even realizing it.